Eco-Feminism In Rajasthan, Village Plants 111 Trees To Celebrate Birth Of Newborn Girl
Discrimination against women is common in South Asia, which can even begin at birth.Female infanticide India is high, one of the highest rates in the world according to a report by a Dehli Based NGO (Asian Center for Human Rights). Despite the wider populations inclination towards discrimination, the village of Piplantri located in the northern state of Rajasthan is setting a good example.
Following the tradition that was started by the villages former leader Shyam Sundar Paliwal, 111 trees are planted by the community every time a girl is born. The tradition began after the local leader lost his daughter when she was at a very young age.
In a village where 60 girls on average are born every year, the village has reportedly planted over a million trees.
Sadly despite the positive efforts on behalf of the community, about half of the families are often reluctant on keeping girl children. These families are identified by a committee comprising of the village school principle, members of Anganwadi (a type of rural child care center in India) and the Panchayat (local government). 21,000 Indian rupees are collected, 10,000 from the girls father. The total sum of Rs. 31,000 is added into a fixed deposit for the girl that she can attain when she’s 20 years of age.
Former local leader Paliwal also states that “We make these parents sign an affidavit promising that they would not marry her off before the legal age, send her to school regularly and take care of the trees planted in her name.”
The village also has taken advantage of the eco-friendly tradition, by processing the several Aloveera plants planted to act as a natural pest repellent. Experts were invited to train local women, so that they may market various Aloveera based products.